Dr. James Harless Gets Highest Michigan Environmental Award From Peers for Innovative Brownfield Reclamation

"Outstanding Environmental Professional Of The Year" For Advancing The Practice Of Environmental Management In Michigan

"OEPY" Is Environmental Oscar From Michigan Association of Environmental Professionals

Dec 06, 2010, 10:00 ET from Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc.

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The highest environmental award in Michigan, the "OEPY," is being presented tomorrow (Tuesday) to national Brownfield redevelopment authority Dr. James Harless, CHMM, vice president of Plymouth, Mich.-based Soil and Materials Engineering Inc. (SME), by the Michigan Association of Environmental Professionals (MAEP.)  

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101206/DE12365 )

The award will be presented at the MAEP annual dinner in Ann Arbor, Mich.  MAEP is the premier association of environmental professionals in Michigan, formed to advance the practice of environmental management in the state.

Dr. Harless was recognized for his nationally pioneering work in transforming old, blighted and contaminated sites into healthy, productive, sustainable and enjoyable new uses that contribute to their communities.  

A recent example in Michigan is the Mason Run "New Urbanism" community in Monroe, Mich., an abandoned 50-acre paper mill that is becoming a thriving 350 home residential neighborhood.  It has won national and state awards as one of the largest New Urbanism projects constructed on an urban brownfield site, and a national model for residential sustainable development.

Another national achievement in Michigan is the designation this year by the U.S. Congress, and the dedication by the National Park Service of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park, site of a famous War of 1812 battle, the Battle of the River Raisin.  The Monroe site was another abandoned paper mill that required innovative solutions for site redevelopment.  It is the first brownfield site ever to become part of the National Parks System.

Harless and SME have also been leaders in helping communities secure financing for brownfields redevelopment using a unique approach they developed for leveraging multiple brownfield financing mechanisms.  They have helped secure and manage more than $100 million in brownfield redevelopment projects for their clients.

About MAEP:   The Michigan Association of Environmental Professionals is a nonpolitical, multidisciplinary professional society formed to advance the practice of environmental management in the state of Michigan by providing its members with information on issues affecting the profession and with opportunities for continuing education, professional development, recognition, and interaction with their peers. Web:  http://www.maep.org/.

About SME:  Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc. helps build a better world with innovative, practical and sustainable solutions for the natural and built environments through environmental, geotechnical and materials consulting and design services ranging from the American Midwest to Asia and South America.  Web:  www.sme-usa.com.

SOURCE Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc.